With the likes of Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi all controlled for at least another three seasons, the Red Sox are positioned to have an excellent core of young position players for the next several years. Team president Sam Kennedy spoke recently on the CSNNE Baseball podcast about his club’s desire to keep that core intact, and CSN’s Evan Drellich provides a number of highlights from that talk. Kennedy stated that extensions for that collection of young players is “something that we talk about a lot,” though he neglected to elaborate on any specifics. Kennedy further explained the various voices that weigh in on such matters, noting that CFO Tim Zue plays an integral part in evaluating the long-term financial ramifications for the team. Kennedy called Zue the Red Sox’ “Godfather of business analytics,” and Drellich adds that Zue works closely with the Red Sox’ baseball analytics head, Zack Scott, with regularity.
More from the game’s Eastern divisions…
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman tells Travis Sawchik of Fangraphs that he and Cubs president of baseball ops Theo Epstein agreed to the framework of last summer’s Aroldis Chapman trade about three days before the trade actually went through. According to Cashman, he had to wait 72 hours for ownership approval from Hal Steinbrenner as he mulled the situation over with his family and other key Yankees staffers. Cashman reveals to Sawchik that this past summer was not the first time he’s strongly recommended employing a rebuilding approach — within the column he suggests that the Yankees should have traded Robinson Cano before he hit free agency — but the 2016 campaign marked the first time in which ownership conceded. Cashman adds that he doesn’t fault Steinbrenner for not green-lighting past rebuilding efforts, telling Sawchik: “[Steinbrenner] says, ‘Cash, you’re the director of baseball operations, you get to look at things at 5,000 feet. But as a pilot, I’m in charge of network ratings, ticket sales, advertising commitments to our sponsors, a whole host of things.’ So he had to look at things at 30,000 feet. Sometimes those decisions don’t match up with what I’d recommend, and I understand and respect that. Being an owner is not easy.” The entire interview is well worth a full read for Yankee fans or any readers that are interested in the baseball operations/ownership dynamic.
- The Blue Jays aren’t expecting Roberto Osuna’s stay on the disabled list to be lengthy in nature, tweets MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. Per general manager Ross Atkins, the Blue Jays don’t think Osuna will require more than the minimum 10-day stay that is provided by the new disabled list this season. That’s excellent news for a Jays team that, on paper, carries plenty of question marks surrounding its relief corps. In Osuna’s absence, veteran Jason Grilli and sophomore reliever Joe Biagini will handle whatever save opportunities arise.
- Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that veteran outfielders Brandon Barnes and Matt den Dekker did not exercise the opt-out provisions in their minor league deals with the Marlins at the end of Spring Training (Twitter link). As such, both figure to head to Triple-A New Orleans, where they’ll serve as depth options that could surface in the Majors should the Fish incur an injury or look to add some versatility to the bench down the line. Barnes, a career .242/.289/.356 hitter, posted just a .426 OPS in Spring Training but was solid in Triple-A last season. Meanwhile, den Dekker hit .281/.306/.596 in Spring Training and is a lifetime .236/.318/.359 hitter in the bigs. Both can play all three outfield positions.